According to me Prawn(s) Biryani is one of the simple, aromatic and flavourful compared to chicken or mutton biryani’s. The only time consuming part is cleaning and deveining of prawns. A perfect marination and correct blend of spices are the key steps involved in making any biryani. Biryani is such a recipe that it can be mastered only by making it more number of times. I love to make biryani often as it is perfect one pot meal and I feel it easy to make at times.
My Mom-in-law always grinds fresh ginger-garlic paste and pluck fresh mint and coriander leaves whenever is she going to make biryani. She says the fresh the flavour of the herbs and spices the aromatic and delectable the biryani is. The making procedure of biryani may wary from my mom to mom-in-law but the end result is redolent and delectable. Prawns need less time for marination and cooking, so I feel prawn biryani to one of the simple among other types of non-veg biryani’s. As I said it is perfect one pot meal, but if you are in good mood or cooking for guest then delectable dalcha and dahi ki chutney are the perfect side dishes that enhance the flavour of biryani and pampers your taste buds with royalty. Try and indulge!
- 3 cups Basmati Rice
- ½ Kg Prawns, deviened, scrubbed with sea salt and washed *
- 1 big Onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
- 3 tbsp Curd
- 2 tbsp Red chilli powder
- ½ tbsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Garam Masala **
- 3-4 Cardamoms
- 5-6 Cloves
- 2 2’inch Cinnomon sticks
- 1 star Anise
- 3 tbsp fresh Lemon juice
- handful fresh Coriander leaves, chopped
- handful fresh Mint leaves
- 2 tbsp lukewarm Milk
- ½ tbsp Kesar/Saffron
- ½ cup Ghee/clarified butter
In a bowl mix prawns, salt *, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, pinch of garam masala and curd. Add few coriander and mint leaves. Mix well and leave for atleast one hour in the fridge.
MEAN TIME :
In the mean time wash and soak basmati rice. In a small bowl mix lukewarm milk and kesar. Set aside.
In a heavy bottom cooking vessel or kadai add ghee and to this add 2 cardamom, 3 cloves and 1 2’inch stick cinnamon.
Let the spices release the aroma. To this add sliced onions and fry till nice golden brown. Once the onions are crisp and nice brown turn off the heat, strain out onions and ghee separately.
In the same vessel or kadai, add the marinated prawns, 1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp fried onions. Cook covered till all the water evaporates and prawns turn soft and tender. Set aside.
In a heavy bottom cooking vessel (used for cooking rice) add 10-12 cups of water (if more also no problem, as we will drain off the water), salt *, ginger-garlic paste, 3 cardamom’s, 3 cloves and 2 sticks of cinnamon. Bring water to boil. When the water starts to boil add soaked basmati rice and cook till rice is just done.
Drain and collect the water using a sieve in a cooking vessel. Drain well and set aside.
Now in a heavy bottom cooking vessel add little ghee (the one which we fried onions) and on this add half of cooked basmati rice. On this add cooked prawns, ghee, garam masala, kesar (soaked in lukewarm milk), deep fried onions, 1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh coriander and mint leaves.
Cover it up with another layer of basmati rice. If you have more cooked prawns then layer them on rice and so on.
Now add remaining ghee, kesar, fried onions, garam masala, 2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh coriander and mint leaves. Cook on a low flame by covering with a lid by keeping the strained water on top of the lid***.
Cook for nearly 15-20 minutes. Turn off the flame and leave the vessel on the stove for another half an hour.
I bet when you remove the lid the aroma that surrounds your kitchen will be mesmerizing.
Last but not least add your ‘love’ to make the dish ‘YUMMY’.
NOTE:* As we are scrubbing the prawns with salt, adjust salt in marination and in rice.**Ground 6 cardamom, 6 cloves and 2 2’inch sticks of cinnamon to fine powder. Use as required and store the remaining in a ziplock bag or dry air-tight container.
Fry onion on a low flame to avoid burning of them. Nice golden color of onions not only look appealing but also enhances the flavour of biryani.
If you wish add some lightly fried cashews and raisins.
Keeping strained water vessel on top of the lid provides weight and helps in locking the aroma.
If possible seal lid and vessel by aluminum foil.
How to devein prawns? Check quick video here.